1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

#MasteryFail

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Tandy, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    In my article in TES today, I have highlighted and debunked some of the most common misconceptions about mastery I hear as I visit schools.

    I would love to hear from others about how mastery is being (mis)defined in your school.
     
    bevdex and Vince_Ulam like this.
  2. Ezioclone

    Ezioclone New commenter

    Hi Tandy.
    I'm not sure I agree with your main point here (which seems to be that you are very concerned at how the 'mastery' programme is actually being adopted/implemented in school).

    Whilst I'm sure you've heard all those things said, I suspect that many of them are just quick one-liners given by busy teachers to particularly emphasise the change(s) they've made in their teaching - and that what they are actually doing in practice is far more nuanced than the statements themselves.
    If you'd *seen* evidence of it being poorly/wrongly implemented in classrooms, then that would be very much more concerning, and I think there's a real danger that by being quite so critical you won't focus on the really key bits to correct/improve.

    Say the quote about 'we're only teaching place value in the first term of Year 7'. It might sound concerning, but the teacher might include in that teaching a wide range of 'using and applying' that concept (e.g. rounding; perimeters and areas and measurements, together with suitable roundings; significant figs,...). What they (might) be trying to emphasise is that throughout the first term, the prime concept their developing and attempting to master are operations related to place-value.

    Or, say the quote 'We have mastery indicator questions, which show when a child has mastered a concept”. Of course there's no finite set of questions that can really assure of mastery, but I think the quote is reflecting the fact that teachers are attempting to routinely include more challenging/diverse questions which test students' ability to apply knowledge. Of course this has always been a feature of good teaching, but its an area where UK teaching has been weak and it's good its being improved (albeit, sometimes, by prescribed questions written by HoDs etc.).

    I think what you've heard is lots of lazy language rather than widespread poor practice.

    I do agree with you that it's hugely frustrating to see old, well-proven ideas re-badged/re-branded as 'new', but that's a far wider problem than mastery in maths.

    Are you trying to make the programme better, or criticise it to destruction and then re-promote it properly?
     
  3. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    The blog was really a shorthand for the exceptionally bad practice, under the banner of mastery, that I have been seeing for quite some time now in schools across the country. I'm wouldn't have written it if I'd just heard a few people say silly things.

    If you are interested in what mastery really is, then you might like to read my other blog Teaching for Mastery.
     

Share This Page